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Obamacare Grants IRS Perilous Power

Thursday, 18 Mar 2010 05:46 PM

By: David A. Patten

The Internal Revenue Service would gain sweeping new powers under President Obama’s healthcare reform proposals, in what Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee are calling a “dangerous expansion” of IRS powers.

That’s according to a nine-page Republican report from the Committee on Ways and Means on Thursday. It’s titled “The Wrong Prescription” Democrats’ Health Overhaul Dangerously Expands IRS Authority.”

Among the new powers the IRS would assume, the report says: The authority to confiscate tax refunds, to impose fines of over $2,200 per taxpayer, and to verify whether taxpayers’ health insurance coverage is “acceptable.”

One measure of the scope of the IRS’ new responsibilities under the healthcare overhaul: The agency might have to hire as many as 16,500 additional auditors, agents, and other employees in order to administer the program, according to Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., the ranking Republican on the Ways and Means Committee.

“It is a very dangerous expansion of the IRS’ power and reach into the lives of virtually every American,” Camp said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

The Ways and Means report portrays healthcare reform as having a wide-ranging impact on how the IRS operates, including:

  • IRS agents would be tasked with determining whether Americans had obtained the insurance coverage required under the individual mandate.
  • Individuals could be fined $2,250 or 2 percent of income, whichever is greater, if you are unable to prove you have “minimum essential coverage.”
  • The IRS would be empowered to confiscate tax refunds if necessary.
  • Audits probably would increase as a result of the legislation’s new requirements.
  • The budget for IRS operations will balloon by $10 billion in the next decade in order to administrate the new program.
  • Nearly half of the new individual mandate taxes will be paid “by Americans earning less than 300 percent of poverty, $66,150 for a family of four.

A statement that Democrats are sure to dispute, the report, which Camp and fellow GOP Rep. Charles Boustany of Louisiana prepared, says healthcare reform would “fundamentally alter the relationship between the IRS and taxpayers.”

Essentially, the Republicans state, the reform bill makes the IRS responsible for “tracking the monthly health insurance status of roughly 300 million Americans.”

They express the concern that reform would alter the IRS’ traditional mission of collecting revenue, and adding a social-program delivery function to its portfolio.

“This is an unprecedented new role for the IRS – one that will inject the IRS even further into the lives of American families,” the report warns.

Ironically, two groups of residents would be declared exempt from IRS enforcement measures, according to the Republicans: One is illegal immigrants who aren’t supposed to be included in the insurance exchanges in the first place. The other consists of people who are incarcerated.

Global Warming Science Implodes Overseas: American Media Silent

Rick Moran

The revelations have been nothing short of jaw dropping. Dozens – yes dozens – of claims made in the IPCC 2007 report on climate change that was supposed to represent the “consensus” of 2500 of the world’s climate scientists have been shown to be bogus, or faulty, or not properly vetted, or simply pulled out of thin air.

We know this because newspapers in Great Britain are doing their job; vetting the 2007 report item by item, coming up with shocking news about global warming claims that formed the basis of argument by climate change advocates who were pressuring the US and western industrialized democracies to transfer trillions of dollars in wealth to the third world and cede sovereignty to the UN.

Glaciergate, tempgate, icegate, and now, disappearing Amazon forests not the result of warming, but of logging. And the report the IPCC based their bogus “science” on was written by a food safety advocate according to this Christopher Booker piece in the Telegraph :

Dr North next uncovered “Amazongate”. The IPCC made a prominent claim in its 2007 report, again citing the WWF as its authority, that climate change could endanger “up to 40 per cent” of the Amazon rainforest – as iconic to warmists as those Himalayan glaciers and polar bears. This WWF report, it turned out, was co-authored by Andy Rowell, an anti-smoking and food safety campaigner who has worked for WWF and Greenpeace, and contributed pieces to Britain’s two most committed environmentalist newspapers. Rowell and his co-author claimed their findings were based on an article in Nature. But the focus of that piece, it emerges, was not global warming at all but the effects of logging.

A Canadian analyst has identified more than 20 passages in the IPCC’s report which cite similarly non-peer-reviewed WWF or Greenpeace reports as their authority, and other researchers have been uncovering a host of similarly dubious claims and attributions all through the report. These range from groundless allegations about the increased frequency of “extreme weather events” such as hurricanes, droughts and heatwaves, to a headline claim that global warming would put billions of people at the mercy of water shortages – when the study cited as its authority indicated exactly the opposite, that rising temperatures could increase the supply of water.

This is a great story. It has everything a media outlet could desire; scandal, conflict of interest (IPCC head Pauchuri runs companies that benefited from climate scare stories), government cover ups – why then, has this unraveling of the basis of climate science that posited catastrophic man made warming not been making any news at all in the United States?

It’s too easy to simply claim “bias.” Media outlets don’t pass up juicy stories that could potentially increase their readership and revenue for ideological purposes (except the New York Times – and even they could spin all of this to show skeptics to be using flawed arguments like the liberal Guardian is doing in England).

Perhaps it’s time to ask why this story being revealed overseas with new revelations almost daily in the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, the Timesonline, and other Fleet Street publications can’t get any traction here. Blogs like Watts up with That and Climate Depot are keeping us informed of the latest from England but we hear crickets chirping when it comes to stories from major newspapers and – outside of Fox News – the cable nets.

As global warming the political movement is losing its scientific justification, the American people – who will be asked to foot the bill to the tune of trillions of dollars if Obama goes ahead with his “green” plans – are grossly uninformed about the state of the debate.  Until the media starts to give this story the coverage it deserves, that state of affairs will not change.

The hitch is that the man-caused catastrophic global warming theory is dead, and it needs to be buried. Evidence had been mounting for years that there were problems with the global warming model; most telling was that the globe refused to warm up. Carbon emissions continued apace, but the world began cooling. This is why true believers abandoned the “global warming” brand name and tried to shift the debate to the more ambiguous label “climate change,” which is something the rest of us like to refer to as “weather.”

The dam broke with Climategate when hacked e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit revealed that global warming advocates had for years attempted to hide conflicting data and silence their professional critics. British authorities have determined that the university broke freedom-of-information laws by denying information to scientists seeking to check claims that global warming was caused by human activity.

Evidence is emerging that the data had been rigged all along. Russian analysts noted that British temperature calculations excluded data from 40% of Russian territory, much of which showed no increase in temperature in the past 50 years. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also cherry-picked data, cutting Canadian data sources from 600 to 35 and relying on only one monitor for all of Canada above the Arctic Circle. This was done even though Canada operates 1,400 weather stations, 100 of which are in the Arctic.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is having its own scandal regarding a finding in its Nobel Peace Prize-winning 2007 report that glaciers in India were rapidly disappearing. It is now revealed that this dramatic claim was based not on years of patient observation and research but anecdotes from a hiking magazine and a student’s master’s thesis. IPCC Chairman Rajendra K. Pachauri knew about the erroneous information before December’s Copenhagen climate summit but maintained the falsehood. He even denounced a report from India that showed the glaciers were in far less jeopardy as “unsubstantiated research.”

Climate scientists have to come to grips with some highly inconvenient truths. World temperatures continue to decline as carbon emissions increase. Chilly Scotland is facing its coldest winter in a century. Arctic sea ice is not vanishing. Polar bears are experiencing a baby boom. Water vapor appears to play as important a role in the climate as carbon emissions. Sunspot activity may be more important than both combined. Meanwhile, climate change fanatics seek to blame capitalism and productivity for global warming, global cooling, too much snow, not enough snow, hurricanes, tornadoes and even the Haiti earthquake.

The increasingly discredited theory of carbon-based, man-caused global warming needs to be discarded, and the scientists who sought to squelch skeptics and artificially inflate their own reputations must be disciplined. This deception needs to cease as does the teaching and indoctrination of it in schools, universities, and society. Too many lies are being taught by ideologues without proof.

Yes, we need to be good stewards of the earth but not worship it. Natural resources were given to humankind to utilize and manage for their benefit.  The more efficiently this is accomplished, and wisdom we use in that accomplishment, the better it will be. There is always room for more technologies that will help this happen.

Senator Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) ability to sway all 60 Democratic Senators to vote for his health care bill monstrosity wasn’t an exploit of legislative prowess-but taxpayer-funded bribery. On the heels of the “Louisiana Purchase,” a deal that saw Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) pocket $300 million in pork, Senator Reid stuffed billions more into the Democrats’ stockings in exchange for their crucial Sunday night vote. In the leadership’s edition of “Let’s Make a Deal,” Senator Ben Nelson (D-Nebr.) was the biggest winner of all. While Americans in the other 49 states will have to pick up the tab for the bill’s expansion in Medicaid, the Nebraska Democrat made sure his state got off scot-free. He traded in his pro-life scruples for a guarantee that the Cornhuskers will never pay a cent toward the government’s plan. And for what? An abortion “compromise” that may actually be worse than the actual bill.

Under Senator Nelson’s opt-out plan, states can refuse to offer abortion coverage-but their taxpayers will still be subsidizing the states that don’t! Meanwhile, the senators from Vermont and Massachusetts watched the Nebraska deal unfold and decided to negotiate for something similar. All together, these statewide exemptions could cost a minimum of $1.2 billion! Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida all protected their Medicare programs from cuts, while other states will have to find ways to manage with the scaled-back program in the underlying legislation.

Also, Senators Nelson and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) have made sure that certain insurance companies in their states are off the hook from a new $7 billion dollar tax. On page 328 of Senator Reid’s manager’s amendment, Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), the master of illicit sweetheart deals, got his kickback-a $100 million bonus for the University of Connecticut to do with whatever they want. A staunch supporter of the public option, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) was “persuaded” to drop his concerns after Senator Reid offered his state a $10 billion grant for “community health centers”-money that could easily be funneled to facilities that perform abortions. Playing hard-to-get certainly has its advantages in this new political climate.

Yesterday, some of the Democrats who didn’t get the same incentives are kicking themselves. When Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) couldn’t get past the reporters swarming Ben Nelson on her way to the cloture vote, she quipped, “I know I’m not as important as Senator Nelson. I didn’t get the money for my state. I was too stupid.” To read more about how this bill could destroy American medicine, check out this excellent op-ed from Sunday’s Wall Street Journal, ” Change Nobody Believes In.” We do have one quibble with the article though. Senator Nelson might think he got abortion restrictions (he didn’t), but even he admits he isn’t quite sure.

As the suicidal Democratic congressmen proceed to rubber-stamp the Obama healthcare reform despite the drubbing their party took in the 2009 elections, the president trotted out the endorsements of the AMA and the AARP to stimulate support. But these – and the other endorsements – his package has received are all bought and paid for.

Here are some of the deals:

  • The American Medical Association (AMA) was facing a 21% cut in physicians’ reimbursements under the current law. Obama promised to kill the cut if they backed his bill. The cuts are the fruit of a law requiring annual 5% to 6% reductions in doctor reimbursements for treating Medicare patients. Bravely, each year Congress has rolled the cuts over, suspending them but not repealing them. So each year, the accumulated cuts threaten doctors. By now, they have risen to 21%. With this blackmail leverage, Obama compelled the AMA to support his bill … or else!

  • The AARP got a financial windfall in return for its support of the healthcare bill. Over the past decade, the AARP has morphed from an advocacy group to an insurance company (through its subsidiary company). It is one of the main suppliers of Medi-gap insurance, a high-cost, privately purchased coverage that picks up where Medicare leaves off. But President Bush (43) passed the Medicare Advantage program, which offered a subsidized, lower-cost alternative to Medi-gap. Under Medicare Advantage, the elderly get all the extra coverage they need plus coordinated, well-managed care, usually by the same physician. So more than 10 million seniors went with Medicare Advantage, cutting into AARP Medi-gap revenues.

Presto! Obama solved their problem. He eliminates subsidies for Medicare Advantage. The elderly will have to pay more for coverage under Medigap, but the AARP – which supposedly represents them – will make more money. (If this galls you, join the American Seniors Association, the alternative group; contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

  • The drug industry backed ObamaCare and, in return, got a 10-year limit of $80 billion on cuts in prescription drug costs. (A drop in the bucket of their almost $3 trillion projected cost over the next decade.) They also got administration assurances that it will continue to bar lower-cost Canadian drugs from coming into the U.S. All it had to do was put its formidable advertising budget at the disposal of the administration.

  • Insurance companies got access to 40 million potential new customers. But when the Senate Finance Committee lowered the fine that would be imposed on those who don’t buy insurance from $3,500 to $1,500, the insurance companies jumped ship and now oppose the bill, albeit for the worst of motives.

The only industry that refused to knuckle under was the medical device makers. They stood for principle and wouldn’t go along with Obama’s blackmail. So the Senate Finance Committee retaliated by imposing a tax on medical devices such as automated wheelchairs, pacemakers, arterial stents, prosthetic limbs, artificial knees and hips and other necessary accoutrements of healthcare.

So these endorsements are not freely given, but bought and paid for by an administration that is intent on passing its program at any cost.

The UN has in front of them the Defamation of Religions Resolution which it plans to introduce later this year. Everyone should be in opposition to this resolution.

The Defamation of Religions Resolution seeks to criminalize words or actions against the religion of Islam as attacks. As incredible as it sounds, passing this resolution could allow a Christian to be persecuted under UN approval. You need to voice your protest of this resolution.

This resolution seeks to protect the Islamic religion instead of individuals who hold other religious beliefs. The result is that this resolution gives UN sanction to Muslim majority countries to persecute Christians and other religious minorities for not sharing the same beliefs as Muslims. It also provides legitimacy to these countries’ blasphemy laws which are often used to accuse, imprison, and even murder Christians.

While Defamation of Religions Resolutions have been introduced and passed in previous years, causing many Christians to lose their lives, it is up again this year for re-authorization. Policy experts at the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom believe there is an opportunity to defeat it this year.This resolution needs to be defeated as a human rights issue.


Maine Stands UpAfter weeks of parading around Maine as the faces of compassion and normalcy, the masks of same-sex “marriage” have finally come off. So have the gloves. After Tuesday’s defeat, homosexual activists are shocked, they’re angry, and now they are determined to make the voters pay.

In a new campaign, the people of Maine Marriage Equality have decided to unleash some California-style harassment on the churches that publicly sided with traditional marriage … Question 1. Ever the sore losers, the Left is calling on it’s supporters to file IRS complaints against any house of worship that supported marriage as God intended it. Intimidation is what they do best, and Maine Equality is hoping to show off those talents by stripping Maine churches of their tax-exempt status. Fortunately it is completely within a church’s legal rights to preach on social issues, particularly as they pertain to Scripture.

Once again, liberal extremists are showing that this debate isn’t about tolerance – but domination. It’s not about the freedom to marry – it’s about losing the freedom to speak publicly about your beliefs. That’s why liberals so intent on publishing the names of donors and supporters of marriage initiatives. They want to exact a steep price for any opposition to their agenda. At the very least, this vicious intolerance should show congregations that what’s at stake in this fight is nothing less than their liberty.

Kudos to the people of Maine.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill authorizing curriculum that teaches children embryonic stem-cell research heals – when in fact it doesn’t!

Randy Thomasson of tells of the $3 billion approved in 2004 for the research has produced no effective treatments for diseases and other medical conditions. “All the trials have shown that human embryonic stem cells cause tumors and cancer in patients and tissue rejection,” he says, quickly asking: “Where’s the real success? It’s in adult and cord blood stem cells. Over 73 effective treatments, and that’s the direction to go.”

According to Thomasson, the bill signed by the governor perpetuates another falsehood that is being pumped into young minds. Schwarzenegger has signed a bill that is teaching school children the lie that embryonic stem-cell research heals people, when it doesn’t. That it doesn’t harm people and it doesn’t kill, when it does … it destroys human embryos.

Thomasson urges parents to take decisive action on behalf of their children, especially in light of the governor’s recent signing of another bill that calls for schools to honor radical homosexual activist Harvey Milk annually.

Appropriate parental action here includes taking youngsters out of public school, homeschooling them, or placing them in private institutions of learning. Get them out of the public schools of indoctrination if these things are happening in your public schools!


Posted by straight shooter on October 21, 2009 under General, Political, Political Terrorism

At Big Labor’s demand, the Senate Labor Committee is preparing to vote on radical union lawyer Craig Becker’s nomination to the National Labor Relations Board without even holding a hearing. Aside from the Wall Street Journal, the media is turning a blind eye to this forced unionism extremist’s record.

“[Secret ballot] elections are profoundly undemocratic.” Those are the words of Big Labor lawyer Craig Becker, Barack Obama’s latest nominee to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) … and the man your U.S. Senators could be asked to confirm any day now.

That’s why it’s vital you call your U.S. Senators TODAY and demand that they vote against the nomination of Craig Becker to the NLRB. You see, Craig Becker’s record proves that he is a radical – even by Big Labor’s standards. In fact, as ACORN founder Wade Rathke stated, the appointment of Big Labor’s “secret weapon” Craig Becker would be a “big win no matter how you shake and bake it.”

As the quasi-judicial agency that administers federal labor law, just one of the functions of the NLRB is to oversee secret ballot elections and resolve unfair labor practices committed by union organizers. That’s why the union bosses see a militant NLRB as one of Big Labor’s most treacherous accomplices in increasing its radical forced-dues power.

Under a union-label NLRB, workers who try to dismiss unwanted union monopoly bargaining agents – or even try to stop their forced dues from being used to elect handpicked Big Labor candidates – would be denied even the most basic protections. And, considering Craig Becker’s record, it’s not a stretch to believe that – should he be confirmed by the U.S. Senate – Mr. Becker wouldn’t think twice about rubber stamping even the most abusive forced-unionism schemes cooked up by union militants.

You see, as a former AFL-CIO and SEIU union lawyer, Becker is solely responsible for forcing tens of thousands of workers under union boss control. In one case, reports from a Los Angeles SEIU Local union revealed that almost 63,000 people rejected membership in the union in 2007, but thanks to Becker, were still forced to pay dues. And Becker’s own words explain why. He was even so bold as to say unions were “formed to escape the evils of individualism and individual competition … their actions necessarily involve coercion.”

So, it should come as no surprise that Becker supports “home visits,” in which union militants repeatedly harass workers at home until they sign union authorization cards. The fact is, Craig Becker is so extreme he actually believes the only choice workers should have is WHICH union they should be FORCED to pay dues to. And should one refuse, he and the rest of Big Labor’s lackeys on the NLRB will choose for them.

Nothing would be more disastrous for American workers!

With the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) due to take up the nomination next week, right now is the most crucial time to expose Becker’s forced unionism record. To stop Becker’s appointment, the full Senate must reject him, but if the HELP Committee doesn’t do its job by probing his radical views, it’s safe to say that won’t happen.

That’s why it’s vital you call your U.S. Senators today urging them to vote against the confirmation of union militant Craig Becker’s nomination to the NLRB.


Posted by straight shooter on October 21, 2009 under Economy, Environmentally Speaking, General, Political, Political Terrorism

Global Warming and CO2?  Where’s the real evidence?

It was kind of a cool summer, wouldn’t you say?  And those folks enjoying the early snows out west this fall, well, they might actually be praying for a little global warming.

Taking care of the earth is important but global warming is not a scientific fact.  The new movie Not Evil Just Wrong makes that clear.  But that’s not stopping leaders in wealthy Western nations from pushing radical “solutions” to this dubious problem.

Not Evil Just Wrong does a great job of clearing the air over some contentious issues.  Take the hysteria over CO2 emissions, for example.  It’s an odorless gas that every living being gives off when he or she exhales.  As Patrick Moore, once a founder of Greenpeace, says in the film, “Anybody who knows anything about biology knows that carbon dioxide is the most important nutrient of all of life.  It is the currency of life.”

Therefore, as MIT’s Richard Lindzen says, we must distinguish between pollutants and CO2.  He says, “When you see smokestacks in this country, it is very rare that you see black soot.  We have tons of environmental regulations designed to control real pollutants.”  CO2 is not a pollutant and has been regulated as hazardous only for the governments agenda grab for taxes and power.

Notice that he says “in this country.”  Global warming activists would be happy to slap moratoriums on the building of coal burning plants here in the U.S.  Even better, they would like to see existing plants eliminated.  This would crush American industry – maybe 7 million American jobs are associated with coal alone.

And, ironically, it would boost industry and production in China and India, were there are virtually no environmental regulations, and where they use “dirtier” coal than we do in the United States!  The unintended consequence, of course, is that by shutting down coal and coal-based industries here, we end up increasing global air pollution, which comes from dirtier plants overseas.

The film also questions another global warming proposition – that is, that even slight rises in global temperatures would be catastrophic.  Well, it would be catastrophic if you consider increased global food production and human flourishing a bad thing.  Europe, for example, thrived during the Medieval warm period.  In the latter Middle Ages, when temperatures dropped dramatically, crops failed, malnutrition and disease was rampant – millions perished, and the human “herd” was culled, if you want to put it that way.

Which raises another issue addressed in the film.  The proposed “solutions” to global warming are, in many ways, profoundly anti-human.  The wealthy can afford expensive power.  The poor and working poor cannot.  Patrick Moore says, “The idea that Al Gore has proposed that we can stop using fossil fuels in 10 years is completely reckless … 85% of global energy is fossil fuel today, and we depend on it for our survival.”

Lord Lawson, a member of the economics committee of Britain’s House of Lords, puts it plainly: “The people who are calling for massive carbon dioxide reductions are the enemies of poverty reduction in the developing world.”

I urge you to see the film Not Evil Just Wrong, being distributed by the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.  You can get a copy for yourself, your friends – or maybe even for your congressman.